Skip to comments.Wal-Mart Breaks Price Barrier with $498 Linux Laptop Running Linspire
Posted on 12/21/2004 1:46:54 AM PST by angkor
SAN DIEGO, December 20, 2004 – Walmart.com has released the $498 Balance laptop, which runs the Linux-based operating system Linspire. The laptop comes fully equipped with the operating system, Internet suite, and Microsoft-file compatible office suite, and can be used with both dial-up modems and broadband connections. The $498 price does not require coupons or rebates and can be purchased immediately at http://www.linspire.com/498.
Wal-Mart and Linspire worked together to offer a laptop that would give customers the best user experience at the lowest price possible. The Balance notebook is the lowest-priced laptop currently on the market to include a complete operating system and office suite - comparable machines cost hundreds more even without an office suite or software included.
*1.0 GHz processor
*128 MB RAM, expandable up to 512 MB with included SODIMM slot
*14.1'' LCD screen
*Linspire 4.5 operating system
*OpenOffice.org - full-featured Microsoft file-compatible office suite with word processor, spreadsheet, and presentation programs
*Internet suite including email with spam blockers, Internet browser, and built-in firewall
*More than 1,900 free software programs for download, with guaranteed software updates for 3 months
More specifications for the Balance $498 laptop are available at http://www.linspire.com/498.
The $498 Balance notebook with Linspire is an extremely affordable Linux-based computer perfect for use as a second or third home machine. Users can connect to the Internet and create, edit and share documents within minutes of bringing the laptop home without paying extra charges for software or licensing fees. Wal-Mart and Linspire partnered to bring a full-featured laptop to consumers at the lowest price point possible.
The Balance laptop is compatible with other office and Internet suites like Microsoft Office and Internet Explorer, and can be used with more than 1,000 printers and hardware components. With the included office suite OpenOffice.org (www.linspire.com/openoffice), users can open, edit and exchange files such as word processing documents (.doc), spreadsheets (.xls) or presentations (.ppt) in a familiar, comfortable environment. The laptop's included Mozilla Internet suite (www.linspire.com/mozilla) comes with a fast-functioning browser and email program that can display Web-based forms, PDF documents, images, and multimedia files. The suite's included instant messenger program works with AOL, MSN and Yahoo! logins.
Besides being affordable, the laptop is also easy-to-use, even for those new to Linux-based operating systems. The computer's Linspire operating system has a comfortable, familiar interface and software that is comparable to Windows. “Hot keys” on the keyboard give users one-touch access to email and the Internet. The laptop also comes installed with multimedia tutorials that Linspire worked with Wal-Mart to create for users who purchase the laptop, and a Quick Start guide to make set-up easy. View the interactive tutorials at http://www.linspire.com/walmartstart and a sample Quick Start guide at http://www.linspire.com/qsguide.
Because it is based on Linux, the Linspire operating system is immune to security threats targeting Microsoft Windows software including viruses, Trojan horses and spyware. The machine's built-in firewall gives an extra level of protection from outside threats, and the included Internet suite's standard spam and pop-up blockers make surfing and emailing hassle-free.
The $498 price also includes access to software programs via the CNR Warehouse (www.linspire.com/warehouse), an Internet-based software download center that allows users to install any of more than 1,900 software programs with one click. The CNR Service is available free to those who purchase the laptop from walmart.com, with guaranteed software updates available for three months after purchase. Once programs are downloaded, they are completely owned by the user and can be shared on multiple Linspire-based PCs with no activation codes required.
To purchase the Balance notebook for $498 with Linspire, please visit http://www.linspire.com/498.
Cool. I'm running Xandros 2.5 on a HP Pavilion Celeron notebook I paid $400 for four years ago. This price is tempting me to upgrade again. With Linspire, you get a full fledged Open Office.org suite and free software upgrades for three months! At $498 its a bargain since with Windows you have to shell out more for additional software. Linux rocks!!!
No sure this does DVD playback, but if they add a checkbook program, they probably would have 99 percent of what the average person uses a computer covered outside games. But really your game consoles are better for games anyways.
You can download Firefox and Thunderbird if you like 'em. They run on Linux.
Checkbook? There's GNUCash - about as good as Microsoft Money or Intuit's Quicken.
But did they install it. They need to install it, because the market they are looking at, may not know how to go out and find the best program and install it.
Linspire is Click N Run so for newbies, any additional software is easy to download. Its pretty fast on broadband.
If Wal-Mart ever decides to get into the automobile business, hoo-boy, the local shysters and "dealers" better look out.
If anything, now first time computer buyers will learn you get what you pay for...The endless spiral of internet, online games, blogs and message boards, upgrades, needing to buy newer computers and service calls now begins with $498.....
Wal-mart already sells gas like the Big Boys do.
This might interest you.
You think GnuCash is about as good as Quicken? Have you used those two programs?
I wouldn't advise my mother to switch over to GnuCash from Quicken. Would you?
The URL is in the first paragraph of the article.
Balance laptop = ChiCom rip off artists
Hello all, If you look back through c.s.l you'll see I asked here about AMD's CPU speed nomenclature because I bought one of Wal-Mart's "Balance" notebooks, advertised as an Athlon XP-M 1800+, and found that it is only running at 1.2GHz. I've been in touch with a couple of other purchasers of this laptop now, and one of them agreed to break his warranty seal and investigate the ACTUAL part number etched on the CPU chip. He had the $598 model, advertised as an "Athlon XP-M 1600+". The actual OPN on his CPU is AHM1100AV53B, which if you refer to AMD's part# breakdown guide, is a 1.1GHz (not 1600+) mobile Athlon 4, not an XP-M. The link to that guide is: <http://www.amd.com/gb-uk/assets/con...n_Rev05_ENG.pdf> In summary: 1. We have been sold an older-generation mobile Athlon 4, not the current-generation mobile Athlon XP chip that was advertised. 2. The $598 machine sold as "1600+" is actually running at 1.1GHz, which would make it a 1400+. It has been confirmed that it does not have the advertised CPU in it. 3. The $698 machine sold as "1800+" is actually running at 1.2GHz, which would make it a 1600+ if it was an XP-M. There was never a mobile Athlon 4 made in the 1800+ speed rating, by the way. Although I have not broken my warranty seal, I am sure that it will also not have the advertised chip in it, based on the information above. 4. This is not an isolated one-off manufacturing error. The special "Balance" BIOS (not available for download anywhere, but only to be found preloaded on these machines) has been hacked to report false CPU information on the POST screen. If you flash with the normal, generic BIOS off ECS's web site, you see *actual* information about the chip. I was in touch with Wal-Mart's customer service last week, and they said they'd replace the unit. However that was before I found out the above. If you are affected by this issue, I encourage you to email me, because I am going to be talking to the customer service manager for walmart.com on Monday afternoon. More pertinently, I would like someone who is still running with the factory-shipped BIOS to use the "a535.exe" utility (which is really just amiflash renamed) to save their BIOS to a file and email it to me so that I can examine it. If someone could get it to me this weekend, it would be a great thing. Obviously I'm going to insist on a refund, and I'm sure Wal-Mart will give it to me. Equally obviously, you're entitled to a refund too, since you were shipped something other than what was advertised. But more importantly we need to get the advertising pulled so that the OEM who made this fraudulent product gets hit where it hurts. Even more obviously: Do not buy this product!
Linspire sells something cllaed CNR Warehouse which the claim is "one click installation" of 1,900 programs.
How difficult is it for a reasonably competent windoze user to switch over to Linux?
marking for later info on the quest...
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